Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Quickfire Questions with...Lynne Hackles


Lynne Hackles is an accomplished author of non-fiction books and adult and children’s novels and a prolific woman’s magazines’writer.

“I was 17 when we got married. Colin (L.S.O.) and I have been married for 41 years now. Kids flown the nest. Dogs died of old age. We’ve got Win though. The motorhome I bought with my Deal Or No Deal win. The three of us go on adventures together.”



My first sale was…
Way back in the early 1980s. A letter in Woman Realm was my first experience of being paid for words. I followed it up by writing some family-humour pieces for My Weekly. Then I started writing stories for My Weekly and Annabel.

My family think my writing is…
Something to keep me out of trouble. The L.S.O. (Long Suffering One, husband Colin) is very supportive. He’s happy to drive me around the country to do talks and workshops, read my work, put cups of tea in front of me, do shopping and cooking. And no, he’s not for hire.

The best/worst thing about writing short stories for magazines is…
They buy my worst and return my favourites.

Long hand first or computer?
I can no longer write in longhand. I clutch the pen so tightly that it becomes painful after a few words.

On completing a story I feel…
Satisfied. I actually forget about it if it’s completely finished. When I wake the next morning it takes an effort to remember what I’d written the day before. But, if the story is not right, it haunts me by day and night.

When I run out of ideas I …
Go back to civilisation for a few days. It’s so quiet here in West Wales. Great for writing but my ideas come from people, and the sheep outnumber them here. I visit my friend Betty (Elizabeth Moulder) who writes for Woman’s Weekly and we fight over who gets what. We have often swapped ideas if they’ve been too close to home for either of us. Or I meet up with Irene Yates and we go shopping in Worcester. She’s great at finding expensive clothes for me that I don’t really need. I come home with new outfits and plenty of story ideas.

Ideas come to me when…
I’m not here. I really need to move soon. Anyone want to move to rural Pembrokeshire?

My biggest tip for new women’s mag writers would be…
To buy Writing From Life by How To Books . There’s lots of information in it on writing fiction and non-fiction, including the secret that many new writers don’t want to know. Who’s the author? That’ll be me.

3 authors – dead or alive I’d like to invite to dinner would be…
Ray Bradbury. No, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to eat if he was there. I’d sit and look stupid, with my mouth open in awe. Robert Holdstock and Bette Howell (Wuthering Depths).

Favourite writing outfit?
I always dress as if I’m going out to work. I need to con myself into it.

Favourite writing snack?
I’ve never eaten between meals but there’s always a pint glass of water on my desk. I leave the room if I’m going to have chocolate but that’s always classed as my pudding. Trouble is I have puddings at lunch and dinner.

Daily Mail or Guardian?
The nearest shop is four miles away so we don’t get newspapers.

Corrie or Eastenders?
Definitely Corrie. It still has humour and the scriptwriters are really clever at interleaving dramatic scenes with funny ones.

Best woman’s magazine story I’ve read during the last three months is…
The Way Through The Woods, (Fiction Feast February 2009) by Teresa Ashby. I wish I’d written it. My kind of story.

12 comments:

Samantha Tonge said...

Really interesting answers, Lynne.

I think most of us writers have got a L.S.O.!

Fionnuala Kearney said...

I love the L.S.O. too! Have to confess I have one also and he's not for hire either. I think most writers dream of a rural hideout to write in so maybe Lynne could do a swap? I hide out and finish my work and she could come and people watch here in Canary Wharf??!

Geraldine Ryan said...

Lynne,
Know exactly what you mean about them returning your favourites and accepting the ones you thought they'd reject. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to it sometimes, does there?

Gillian McDade said...

Great answers Lynne! I love the fact you dress up to start writing - on my days off work I get up, get dressed and get my make-up and perfume on, then sit down to write. Bizarre :)

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Great answers, Lynne - I really got a sense of your life. Did you really win on Deal or No Deal? (I probably watched it as am addicted!)
The L.S.O. sounds brilliant - and must provide great musical relief, too!
Susiex

CarolineG said...

I'm the same about writing longhand these days. Thanks for your funny answers, Lynne, and your comment [on your website] about people called Hackles being related to you but not wanting to admit it made me hoot too!

Lynne Hackles said...

Yes, Susie, I was on Deal or No Deal. Back in November 2006. I went to the end when I was left with 10p or £75,000. The Banker offered me £22,076 to go but I no dealt. I still get a thrill when I think of Noel revealing the big sum in my box. And a bigger thrill a moment later when he hugged and kissed me. I was offered the swap and asked if I could swap the LSO for Noel. It wasn't allowed and I said no to swapping my box. It was a fantastic time. I'd do it again tomorrow, even if I got the 10p next time.

Suzanne said...

I'm not often able to watch Deal or No Deal, but I did see your win, Lynne - it was a fabulous game and I was thrilled for you. I'm so glad you got your Motor Home and so jealous that you got a hug and kiss from Noel. He once waved at me from his helicopter, though, so I suppose I should be happy with that.

Susie Nott-Bower said...

That's brilliant, Lynne - and what a gamble! You thoroughly deserve your lovely motorhome!
Susiex

Glynis Scrivens said...

Enjoyed your answers, Lynne
My L.S.O. is out doing the grocery shopping while I sit here playing on the computer, in my working clothes - never feels the same in pyjamas, does it?
We writers all need a L.S.O. - I tell mine he's a patron of the arts.
It's almost predictable that the stories where we feel we've really achieved something are the hardest to sell, whereas something we whip up to amuse ourselves gets snapped up.

Teresa Ashby said...

I wholeheartedly agree about the book Writing from Life. I wouldn’t part with my copy for anything and I’d advise anyone who writes to buy it.
You deserved that win and long may you and your lovely L.S.O. enjoy your adventures in Win!
You’ve also made my day, thanks Lynne!

womagwriter said...

Great interview! I find the stories I've slaved over and fallen in love with come back, and those I dashed off and don't really care about sell. Drives me mad at times!